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Sales Surge in Brooklyn and Queens as Prices Continue to Fall

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[Click to expand! Chart via Prudential Douglas Elliman.]

Sinking prices and rising sales. Sound familiar? We just covered that territory with the fourth-quarter Manhattan market reports released two weeks ago, and now the formula is repeated with Prudential Douglas Elliman's quarterly Brooklyn and Queens market reports, prepared by appraiser and Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller (available here). It was an interesting end to 2009 for our friends across the river, especially in Williamsburg (we'll get there in a hot second). Brooklyn's median sales price fell 8.7% from last year to $447,174, also a 6% decline from the previous quarter. In Queens the median sales price fell 8% to $350,000, down 3.3% from Q3 '09.

Prices keep going down as sellers and developers adapt to market realities, and that sure as heck is helping sales volume. Miller said Manhattan's sales rose 8.4% from last year, and now he's reporting serious action here?a 13.4% year-over-year increase to 2,093 sales in Brooklyn (also up 13% from the prior quarter), and a whopping 55.6% spike in sales in Queens to 4,260, up nearly 53% from last quarter. Sup with that?

Reached via IM, JMillz gave us his two cents on Queens: "just a release of pent-up demand - a lot of re-sale condos, lower priced stuff, first time buyer tax credit, probably," then, "even with the spike, sales levels are not above historical average." Yeesh, don't rain on the Queens parade, bro! Looking at the Northwest Queens subcategory, which includes Long Island City and Astoria, it seems the price point got low enough in new developments to move units. The median condo sales price in the area was about $468,000, down 15.7% from last year. The number of sales in Northwest Queens went up 82% from last year and 53% from last quarter. Has the market found its footing in LIC?

The same revolutionary thinking (lower prices = customers) has not been fully adopted in North Brooklyn, made up of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. This was the only area with a drop in sales from last year (10% fall, though sales were up from last quarter) and prices are going sideways. Developers in the Burg just seem unwilling or unable to adapt pricing to the new market, though that might be changing. Nearly 84% of the sales in North Brooklyn were in new condo developments. As Tupac once said: Live by the Hot Karl, die by the Hot Karl.

We can't call it quits without giving Brownstone Brooklyn some love, which in the report is represented by the 1-3 family home subcategory of Northwest Brooklyn. Median sales price was $1.075 million, down 16.5% from the prior year quarter and down 5% from Q3. The number of sales increased just over 3% to 62 units. Also, these people have gorgeous homes and we hate them.
· Market Reports [Elliman]
· State o' the Market Reports: The Manhattan Bleeding Slows! [Curbed]